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Heading to the new reality in healthcare: it really is all about the patient


01 October 2015 : Blog issue N°9

In the past decade, practically every industry has been shocked by the arrival of new players on their scenes – players who argued that they could do it all in a different and better way. And you know what? They can.

Going on holiday has changed since the launch of AirBnB, taking a taxi was no longer going to be the same when Uber showed up, …. All these (r)evolutions have been made possible by the willingness to use technology to offer real benefits for every individual. John Lennon vigorously sang “Power to the people” for the first time in 1971, and we can finally say – after 44 years – that it is coming to reality.

Face it: the new customer-centricity in healthcare

For one reason or another, healthcare – the sector that deals with our most intimate experiences – is the last one to be affected by the disruptive forces. No need to wonder why; the only thing that counts is that the future is here, and that the impact will be ground-breaking.

Technology and digital health drive the revolution. The internet provides an incredible amount of medical information that allows people to start making their own diagnoses and to challenge decisions of healthcare professionals. Social networks connect people with similar experiences and allow them to share insights in their daily lives with a certain medical condition. Digital monitoring tools reveal truths about the human body and one’s health management, more than ever.

While healthcare has been ruled for centuries by well-educated and – in the perception of many care requesters – elitist professionals, we now see that someone with a certain medical condition is no longer an illiterate and distant individual who is called patronizingly “the patient”. He or she has become an empowered person, looking for a valuable experience. Healthcare providers therefore must change their mindsets realize it’s not enough just to push messages unidirectionally. Success lies in being prepared for reactions, and using that opportunity to add real value to one’s experience.

Pharma 1-2-3

Being a prominent stakeholder in healthcare, the pharmaceutical industry finds itself in the middle of a perfect storm. The good old blockbuster model is definitely buried, and although many companies have just started to become more engaging and to switch their business models to what we call pharma 2.0, new and sweeping trends are again transforming the business environment. Changing incentives are reshaping the healthcare ecosystem, as policymakers and patients realize that in a sustainable value proposition, health outcomes are the most valuable impact metrics. This will inevitably force the pharma industry to develop a new kind of a business model – let’s call it pharma 3.0 – focused on health outcomes. The pharma industry will have to evolve from product manufacturer to real service (or better: solution) provider.

One step at a time towards a new comfort zone

At Across Health, we specialize in guiding pharmaceutical companies towards comfort in new realities. Leveraging our Navigator database and internal expertise, we are successfully helping marketing, medical and sales teams to “fix their mix” and include digital in their go-to-market approach, while also supporting the movement to customer engagement & centricity.

Since early 2015, and after several years of ad hoc projects, we also committed to applying our knowledge, experience and enthusiasm to help pharma companies engage with patients and caregivers. Whether your ambition is to guide patients to the right healthcare professional and to your valuable therapies, or whether you want to support patients on treatment with an efficient & effective service & channel mix that boosts therapy adherence; we have the tools that will give you the right insights... and help you implement these to add value to the Patient Decision Journey.

The burning question to your patient: What can we do for YOU?

Every human being is different, leading to different needs and different communication preferences. In order to focus your efforts and add real value to your target audience, it’s important to see the wood for the trees. Via our Patient Navigator and our Virtual Focus Groups we get insights in the channel affinity for specific populations, and content that gives an answer to existing needs. Next to that, we apply a validated Patient Segmentation Model that allows creating subgroups within your target population so that you can distinguish your message and offer tailor-made support.

This insight-driven approach allows pharma companies to find comfort in their patient-oriented initiatives, to effectively measure the impact on healthcare outcomes, and to partner with patient, caregivers and healthcare professionals.

Dare to look further, even beyond your pills

Setting up a communication strategy in one thing, but that will not be sufficient to deal with the reality of the (near) future. It will not be enough that people take their medication properly; the goal will be to prove that it works in real life. Healthcare professionals will be remunerated based on the quality of their interventions and decisions, and payers will only refund treatments if there is evidence that the therapy works for the patient in a cost-effective way.

Early-adopters have started to partner with technology companies to offer pragmatic beyond-the-pill solutions with a proven outcome to patients. They are completely rethinking their business models and have also started to extend their quest for added value to the R&D space. The future is not about making your good products even better; it’s about bringing them in a new and optimized way to your patients.  This is not just a new way of working: this is real healthcare disruption. The question is not if it’s going to happen. The question is when.

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